Saturday, May 30, 2009

Left Brain Grocery List

I just saw a link to a story called “Left Brain Grocery List,” and I sat here and laughed out loud while I’ve listened. It reminds me so much of the stories I have heard living here in the South.

The woman who’s speaking is named Jeanne Robertson.

Just click here to listen.

Hummingbird Cake

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
  3. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound box confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Garnish: (Optional)
  • Pecan halves
  • Toasted Coconut

  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the finely chopped pecans.
  2. To assemble: place one cake, top side down, onto your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake layer, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish with pecan halves. And the sides with the toasted coconut. Refrigerate the cake for about one hour so the frosting has time to set.

How To Build Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

Lights … Cameras … Insect Repellent? How To Build Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

Step by step tutorial. He says it cost him less than $250.

Paper Crafts Saturday: Freebie Printables from Tip Nut

Original post here.

See more collections of freebie printables here: Paper Crafts Saturday: Freebie Printables (List 2) and Paper Crafts Saturday: Freebie Printables (List 1). More printable goodies can be found here in the Paper Crafts section: Paper Crafts:

Free Printable Thank You Card From blue finch studios

Introducing Blue Finch Studio's first YOUprint card. YOUprint is interchangeable with the term "printables". A printable is a PDF file that you print at home on paper, card stock or a sticker sheet to make what YOU want, when YOU want.

Please enjoy this note card free as our personal thank you. Begin by clicking the following link:
free owl note card.

Let the Summer Grilling Begin!

Check out Mary Hunt's awesome grilling recipes, including a recipe for hamburger buns!

Click here to see them.

Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 1-1/4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 10 ounce all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring
  • Cooking spray

  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 whole strawberries (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, place sliced strawberries in a food processor; process until smooth.
  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg whites. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add pureed strawberries and food coloring; beat just until blended.
  4. Divide batter between 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  5. To prepare frosting, place cream cheese, 1/3 cup butter, and juice in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, and beat just until blended.
  6. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Cut 1 whole strawberry into thin slices, cutting to, but not through, the stem end. Fan strawberry on top of cake just before serving, if desired. Cut remaining 11 strawberries in half. Garnish cake with strawberry halves, if desired.

55 Ways to Get More Energy

If you’re tired all the time, a change in what you eat (diet) or what you do all day (activity pattern) may be all you need to turn things around 180°.

You won’t be able to do everything on this list all the time — you’d tire yourself out trying to get more energy — but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting.

For the rest of the article, Click Here!

Summer Fruit Salad

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but it's so simple, it will be in my refrigerator this summer!


It is best when the fruit is in season and I tend to like it better with fresh strawberries. But I have made this with any fruit at the store. This time I used strawberries, grapes, and bananas. You could add peaches, apples, mangoes. I really only like to put in 3-4 different kinds of fruits, if there are more, it changes the look and flavor.

Then this is the tricky part, get out your pen to write all this down. Get 1-2 yogurt cups and pour them in. Really that’s it. I like to use strawberry flavored yogurt, Yoplait’s fat free brand is great. Then mix it all together. Sometimes I put more yogurt to make it creamier and sometimes I like to just use enough that it covers the fruit.

If you are like me and you cannot think of dirtying one more dish, I make and mix the fruit salad in the bowl I am going to serve it in. But it tends to get the sides all messy when mixed and it ruins the presentation. And it’s all about the presentation. So, try this trick I learned. After you are done mixing and ready to serve, take a wet paper towel and wipe the sides down. I wipe just until I hit the fruit and then give it a little mix to fluff it up. Looks good enough to serve!

Faithful Fashionista "Dream Bird" Necklace Giveaway

Favorite Things Giveaway offers up a feminine, romantic, lovingly hand-crafted "Dream Bird" necklace from Lindsay at Bella Cene'!

Favorite Things Giveaway Event--The Faithful Fashionista

Day 6 of the Favorite Things Giveaway Event keeps the modest clothing coming thanks to Mia Bellina!
Mia Bellina offers lovely tops and brilliant basics to make sure your wardrobe is modest and stylin'!

Their line of "Sonatas" is the perfect solution to put under tops that are just too low to wear without a cami, but they stop right under the bust so they don't add bulk to your midsection! These items would be perfect for under dresses to avoid the "ride-up" that I'm sure you've all experienced with traditional camis.

Check out the full details at The Faithful Fashionista.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Save Cash by Feeding the Kids for Free

Many a parent has ordered something off the kids' menu just to see their picky eater barely touch it. Why make dining out any pricier it already is? Go where the kids eat free!

read the rest of the article here.

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Make any page on your website Printer Friendly.
"Save Money and the Environment"

Budget Produce Tips

Do your own prep work.

“People pay more for prewashed greens and mini peeled carrots,” says Jim Iovine, owner of Iovine's Produce at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. The additional processing―rinsing leafy greens to remove dirt or whittling regular carrots down to “baby” size―adds to the items’ expense. You can also save by skipping precut vegetables and chopping your own.

Choose items with the lowest costs per serving.

The USDA tracks average costs of fresh, frozen, and canned produce. Melons, peaches, bananas, and papayas are among the least expensive fresh fruits per serving. Fresh vegetables with a low cost per serving include potatoes, radishes, Romaine lettuce, mustard greens, and broccoli.

Choose items with the lowest costs per serving.

The USDA tracks average costs of fresh, frozen, and canned produce. Melons, peaches, bananas, and papayas are among the least expensive fresh fruits per serving. Fresh vegetables with a low cost per serving include potatoes, radishes, Romaine lettuce, mustard greens, and broccoli.

Shop the source (or close to it).

Buy in-season produce at farmers’ markets, but, watch those prices, because specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, and berries can be expensive. Search for one of 4,685 farmers’ markets in the US using the USDA's Farmers' Market Search.

If you love ripe produce, like saving money, and don't mind work, visit a pick-your-own farm. Search for one here and learn how to make the most of your trip here.

Or, buy at farmstands, but check origins because many also sell commercial produce.

from Cooking Light Online

How to Move in 6 Weeks or 6 Days, and Keep Your Sanity

Most people’s feelings after moving are “I hope we live here for a long time. I don’t want to move again.” I’ve been through chaotic, last-minute moves, a few crazy DIY moves, and some that weren’t so bad. When we moved to a new apartment recently, it was our best move yet. We even had our entire apartment unpacked just two days later.

Moving can be really difficult, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

Check out the full article at Small Notebook.

A Give Away @ Faithful Fashionista

Check out the Faithful Fashionista.
She is having a giveaway for a $25 GC to Layers

Life as Mom: Cute Cakes and Coupons

Life as Mom: Cute Cakes and Coupons

Thanks FishMama!

100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed

100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed

via Worthington Wire

5 Reasons Not to Save Stuff for Later

Are you guilty of hanging on to things that you don’t use because of the belief that you “might need it someday?” It’s a common problem that leaves people dealing with a bunch of clutter.

from Frugal Dad

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

  • 1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
  • 1 Tablespoon self rising flour
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add the oil.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
  5. Add the water and strawberries and mix well.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks.
  9. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • pink food coloring
  • 4 sliced strawberries
  1. In a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain.
  2. Add one box of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated.
  3. Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated. If you would like a smoother consistency, and a slash of milk. If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with two or three drops of pink die. Mix with hands to distribute the color and wash hands immediately. Once the cake is frosted, decorate the top of the cake with the shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.

Grocery Stewardship

In this thought-provoking post over at Faith and Family Live, Danielle asks “How much do you spend on groceries?” After adding my own thoughts and comparing my spending to that of other families, it hit me.

Check out this post over at The Finer things in Life.

15 Ways to Eat More Local Food

From Tip Hero

I have heard a lot about the economical and environmental arguments for eating locally. But sometimes find it a bit overwhelming. This guide made it more 'digestible' and fun for me (pun intended): 15 Ways to Eat More Local Food

Something Down The Drain? Retrieve it Without a Wrench.

From Family Hack. . .an awesome site!

An amazing trick!

Our 1-minute video shows you how to easily retrieve anything that went down the drain…without a pipe wrench or a plumber.

Keep Your House Spring Clean Fresh All Summer Long

Spring Cleaning Maintenance

After all of your hard work spring cleaning and organizing your home, you certainly won’t want to see things back to the way they were in a matter of weeks. Staying organized takes a little work and is certainly a learned habit, but for this small amount of daily effort, you will have a cleaner home and a happier family. Try some of these tips to help keep your home looking like you just wrapped up your spring cleaning efforts.

via Happy to be @ Home

14 Fun Summer Activities For Frugal Kids

Check out this article over at Frugal Dad. . .

“I’m bored!” It’s the two words every parents dread as school lets out for summer. Fear not; I’ve put together two weeks worth of fun summer activities to keep kids busy, and parents sane.

The list of summer activities ranges in cost from free to frugal, but each requires extra quality time with kids - something we can all afford to spend more on!

Downloadable FREE Cookbooks!

Thanks to Nicole's Nickels for the linky love to FREE (yes, you heard correctly!) FREE Cookbooks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two weeks of Dinner Plans, courtesy of Kraft & Sam's Club

The two-week dinner plan contains quick, delicious recipes your family will love. With great savings and an incredible selection, Sam's Club is ideal for all your grocery shopping needs! Save extra time with Click 'N Pull to have the ingredients waiting for you on your next visit.

Click here for more details!

Get Ideas for Summertime Fun

Fun Fun Fun! Get Ideas for Summertime Fun with inexpensive ways to entertain your preschoolers this summer. Click here for more.

A Give Away @ Nicole's Nickels

Nichole is giving away a Keurig Platinum Brewer. Check it out Nicole's post here.

Awesome giveaway Nicole!

Angel Food June Menu

Click here for our local Angel Food Menu. The cutoff date is Saturday, June 13 and pick up is Saturday, June 20.

For more information about Angel Food Ministries in our area, please contact:
Whitley Church Office
at (919) 735-5411
Angel Food Ministries Directors @ Whitley Church--Joey and Karen Statler at: (919) 689-3509

Angel Food Ministries
Frequently Asked Questions
History of Angel Food

Triangle Mom2Mom

If you happen to live in the Raleigh, NC area, there is a pretty cool resource located here.
Simply put, it is a pretty exhaustive calendar of family-type stuff to do in the area.

And then, after you have looked at the Triangle Mom2Mom calendar, check out Play. It is a listing of fun things to do in the Triangle.

Nice resources for Triangle folks. . .

Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots

Prep time: 3 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Makes 4 servings.


  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Clean and peel the carrots. Cut length-wise, then cut into half-moons about 1/4 inch wide.
  2. Put carrots into a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on medium-high heat for 2 minutes and stir to coat the carrots with the spices and now-melted butter. Replace cover and microwave on medium-high for another minute or so, until the carrots are tender. Stir and serve.

Tips and notes

  • The mid-cooking stir in step two is optional but nice.
  • If you have the oven on anyway, put all the ingredients in an oven-safe container, cover, and bake for about 20 minutes until the carrots are tender. Any temperature from 325 to 450 will be fine, with the carrots cooking a little slower or a little faster depending on the heat.

Cooking Dried Beans

Here's a quick tutorial for cooking dried beans. They are a frugal meal option that is really healthy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total time: 2 to 4 hours, with optional soaking time of 6 to 10 hours

Servings: 20 servings, 1/2 cup each


  • 2 pounds dried beans
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 cups water


  1. Clean the beans. Clean the beans by putting about a cup of them on one side of a light-colored plate and pushing them a few at a time towards you. Pick out anything that is not a bean, such as small stones or stems. Also pick out any beans that look much smaller and more wrinkled than the rest. (These mummy beans tend to stay hard no matter how long you cook them.) After you’ve worked a batch of beans over to the other side of the plate, dump them into a colander and pick over another batch until you’ve checked them all. Rinse the beans well under running water.
  2. Soak beans if you want, an option that saves energy and may reduce side effects. The FDA recommends always soaking kidney beans for at least five hours and throwing away the soaking liquid to avoid problems with a toxin in some kidney beans. Once you’ve picked over and rinsed the beans, you can soak them in water for several hours or overnight. Soaking beans softens them without heat and cuts the cooking time by 30 minutes or an hour. Use plenty of water: twelve cups should be enough for two pounds of beans. You can soak the beans in the crockpot or pot that you will be cooking them in. Leaving them on the counter is fine; you don’t need to refrigerate them. Many people throw away the soaking liquid and then cook the beans in fresh water (always do this with kidney beans). This will throw some of the taste and nutrients down the drain but may help if beans give you gas, especially when you first start eating them regularly. Cook soaked beans in a crockpot or pot just as you would unsoaked beans
  3. Cook the beans. Cook beans in a crockpot or on the stove until they are creamy and tender. Undercooked beans are hard to digest. Test three or four beans when you check for doneness; they don’t always cook evenly. I like to use a crockpot because it’s so easy and the beans get the best texture because they cook very slowly. You’ll also save energy compared to cooking beans on the stove.
    • Using a crockpot (best way): Put the rinsed (and possibly soaked) beans into a crockpot that will hold at least 14 cups. Add water and salt. Turn crockpot on low. Cook until the beans are tender, adding extra water if needed to keep them covered. If you are in a hurry, bring the water to a boil before adding it to the crockpot and turn the crockpot on high.
    • Using a pot on the stove: Put the rinsed (and possibly soaked) beans into a pot that will hold at least 14 cups. Add water and salt. Bring the beans to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot with its lid. Cook until the beans are tender, adding extra water if needed to keep them covered.
  4. Drain the beans if you want. Either use right away, refrigerate, or freeze.

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I found this recipe on Cooking for Good. It sounded great, so I thought I'd post it!

Active time: about 35 minutes.
Total time: about an hour.
Makes twelve servings.


Hot-Milk Cake
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • shortening or butter and flour for greasing and flouring the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour (120 grams)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 pounds of fresh strawberries (a little less than 3 pints)
  • about 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are) (100 or so grams)
  • 1 cup whipping cream (8 ounces or 1/2 pint)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

1. Cake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat milk until it begins to steam, then add butter to hot milk. Butter will melt. (I microwave milk in a Pyrex measuring cup for about a minute and a half.) Grease and flour an 8” square pan or a muffin tin that holds a dozen muffins.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs on medium-high until they turn light and thick. Add the sugar and beat about 2 1/2 minutes more. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Fold sifted ingredients into egg mixture. Fold in hot milk and butter. Work quickly to keep the cake fluffy; adding flour and milk mixtures should take no more than a minute.

3. Pour into pan or muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cool thoroughly in pan before cutting.

4. Strawberries. Wash strawberries well. Remove tops and any bad spots. Crush or puree about half the strawberries in a blender or food-processor with the blade attachment. Slice the other half of the berries. Hold back 12 slices for garnish; stir rest in with crushed strawberries. Taste and add sugar as needed.

5. Whipped cream. Put whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and vanilla if using into a chilled mixer or food-processor bowl. Beat on high until soft peaks form.

6. Putting it all together. Cut cake into 12 pieces. For each serving, cut cake in half cross-wise. Put bottom of cake on serving plate or bowl. Top with strawberry sauce. Put top of cake on strawberry sauce. Add more strawberry sauce and a spoonful of whipped cream. Garnish with reserved strawberry slices. Refrigerate any extra strawberry sauce or whipped cream and use within 2 or 3 days.

Tips and notes

* I used to whip cream every time I needed it until I found that whipped cream stays fluffy for days if refrigerated.
* The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour. I sometimes use white whole-wheat flour, which produces a slightly denser, slightly darker cake. It's still delicious and has the nutrition of regular whole-wheat flour.
* Use pasture-raised eggs if you have them; this cake will really show them off.
* Hot-milk cake is also good with other juicy fruit or just by itself.
* Strawberry sauce freezes well. Make a double batch and freeze one to enjoy next winter.
* Thanks so much to my mother-in-law, Catherine Watson, for making this most delicious recipe for years and for her permission to share it here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

28 Uses for Everyday Items

28 Uses for Everyday Items

From Real Simple online, by Sharon Tanenbaum and Ashley Tate.

The hidden talents (both new and tried-and-true) of kitchen and bathroom staples.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Have you heard about "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day?"

Mary Hunt's email blast today was about this book. Being the tightwad that I am and not wanting to spend $20 on a book about bread, I googled artisan bread in five minutes basic recipe which turned up this link: Simple Crusty Bread from the NY Times. It even gives the baking and storage directions.

Then go here to see the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes website to see if you want to order the book.

Mary Hunt's original post can be found here.

I am going to try the bread after we eat the Homemade Wheat Bread that is rising in the Bread Maker right now.

Let me know what you think!

Mexican Lasagna

  • 2 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with chiles (Ro-Tel style)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (11 oz) corn (whole kernel), drained
  • 1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce
  • 5-(8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/4 c. shredded cheddar

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat a 3 quart round baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add onion and saute 5 minutes.
  5. Add ground beef and taco seasoning and heat until no longer pink.
  6. Add tomatoes, beans, corn and enchilada sauce; bring to a simmer.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Put 1 tortilla in baking dish.
  9. Top with 1/5 of meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups); sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
  10. Repeat layers 4 more times.
  11. Cover with foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted.
  12. Cool 5 minutes.
  13. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, if desired.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beef Fajita Quesadilla Wedges

Beef Fajita Quesadilla Wedges


  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen pepper stir-fry blend (green, red and yellow peppers and onions)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 16 ounces, beef fajita strips, prepared
  • 1 ½ cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Prepare the stir-fry pepper blend according to package directions.
  • Mix yogurt and salsa. Set aside.
  • Spread butter evenly on one side of each tortilla and layer cooked peppers and onions, fajita strips and cheese evenly on unbuttered side of four tortillas and cover with remaining tortillas, butter side up.
  • Grill each quesadilla in large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa dipping sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grocery Bag Holder

How many of us have umpteen thousand WM or Target bags under the kitchen sink? This is a cute and simple sewing project that uses scraps.

Click here or on the photo to go to Make It and Love It.

Warm Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce

Warm Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
2 c. apples, cored, peeled and shredded
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix together egg and apples; add to flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Spread in a lightly greased 8"x8" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm, drizzled with Caramel Sauce. Makes 9 servings.

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1 c. water
1 T. butter
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Combine brown sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually add water; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for one to 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.

Have you seen KraftFoods new Budget Wise area?

Budget Wise

It includes videos, budget desserts, lunches, healthy living, message boards, and a whole lot more. Right now, if you are a member (it's free), you can print up to $50 in coupons for Kraft Products.

WFMW: Homemade Wheat Bread

Looking for a tasty alternative in wheat bread? Look no further that this link. As you will see, I am not a wheat bread girl, but this recipe changed my mind. One of our goals for this year is to choose a healthier lifestyle for the family . . . it works for us!


WFMW: Tasty Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine

Homemade Wheat Bread

I must admit that I am not a wheat bread girl. I love the non-nutritional "white stuff" and was very thankful to find a certain bread (whose initials are WW) that offers at least some healthy ingredients. Then I found this recipe. It is a great whole wheat alternative. This recipe produces a very soft and tasty product that I know you will enjoy.

Homemade Wheat Bread

Yield: 1 good size loaf

  • 1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or molasses)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

Put everything in the machine in the order listed and use the dough setting. After it beeps (1:40 for mine) I put it in a bread pan and let it rise for 30 min then bake it for 30-35 min in a 350 degree oven.

Menu for Week of May 11-17

  1. Monday (11): Breaded Chicken Breast (Angelfood), Rice, Sauteed Green Beans, Butter Beans, White Gravy, Wheat Bread
  2. Tuesday (12): Baked Spaghetti, Salad, Wheat Bread
  3. Wednesday (13): Bacon Cheeseburgers, Baked French Fries, Fresh Fruit
  4. Thursday (14): Cheesy Chicken (Slow Cooker), Broccoli Rice & Cheese
  5. Friday (15): Homemade Pizza, Fresh Fruit
  6. Saturday (16): Lunch-Leftovers; Supper-Marinated Steaks, Ranch Potato Wedges, Salad, Rolls
  7. Sunday (17): Lunch-Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, Rice, Chips & Salsa; Supper-Eat out with the kids on the way home from church

Strawberry Cream Freeze--from

Strawberry Cream Freeze

What You Need!

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  • 20 NILLA Wafers, coarsely broken
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry ice cream topping

Make It!


BEAT cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; beat 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP, wafers and berries. Swirl in ice cream topping.


PIE: Spread filling into 6-oz. OREO Pie Crust. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish with additional berries, if desired. Makes 8 servings. I made the pie and it was delicious. A word of warning though, don't take this directly from the freezer and expect to eat it immediately. . .it is very solid!

MINI PIES: Spoon filling into 12 cupcake liners. Freeze 4 hours. Remove paper linings. Garnish desserts with additional berries, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

WAFFLE BOWLS: Freeze filling 6 hours or until firm. Let stand 15 min. before scooping into waffle bowls. Makes 8 servings.

Simplifying Menu Planning

Simplifying Menu Planning - Passionate Homemaking

Benefits include:

- Less trips to the store -saving gas and time (which is especially important during this time in our economy)!
- Less time in preparing weekly menus

Sneaky Chef Flu Fighters

Sneaky Chef Flu Fighter

Makes 4 servings

1 large orange, peeled
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice from one fresh lemon
2 cups pomegranate or cranberry juice
4 tablespoons honey
Handful of ice

Put all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth. Serve in a tall glass with a straw.

The Sneaky Chef Immune-Booster Sorbet

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries, blueberries, or cherries (without syrup or added sweeteners)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pomegranate and/or blueberry juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey, optional

Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree on high. Hold on tight, the first few seconds are a bit rough until the mixture smoothes out.

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List from Small Notebook

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List
If you like the idea combining your menu plan and grocery shopping list in one, but you don’t want to create a spreadsheet, here’s a simple blank one you can print.

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List

If you like the idea of combining your menu plan and grocery shopping list in one, but you don’t want to create a spreadsheet, here’s a simple blank one you can print.

Great site at Small Notebook for a Simple Home. . .check it out!

DIY Cardboard Laptop Stand

Check this out

This is pretty cool!

Egg Substitute Recipes

found on

Egg Substitute Recipes (Each replaces one egg)

*It’s recommended not to replace more than 2 eggs per recipe.

  • 1 tsp baking powder + 1 1/2 TBS water + 1 1/2 TBS oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder + 1 TBS water + 1 TBS vinegar
  • 2 TBS water or milk + 2 TBS flour + 1/2 TBS shortening + 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBS vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBS lemon juice + 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water for each missing egg
  • 2 TBS arrowroot flour
  • 2 TBS potato starch
  • 1 TBS tapioca starch + 1/4 cup warm water (mix well & allow to gel a bit before using)
  • 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 banana, mashed (medium size) + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS applesauce
  • 3 TBS mayonnaise

Flax Seed Egg Replacer
*Replacer for 1 egg

1 TBS flax seed (ground)
3 TBS water

  • Method #1: Simmer together on top of stove for about 5 minutes until the consistency reaches a thick, egg-white like consistency.
  • Method #2: Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor until the mixture is thick and creamy. Refrigerate.

Homemade Egg Substitute
*1/4 cup = 1 large egg

6 egg whites
1/4 cup dry milk powder (non-fat)
1 TBS vegetable oil

  • Mix all ingredients together and blend until smooth, refrigerate. Can be frozen.

Replacer For Egg Substitute:

  • Some low fat or low cholesterol recipes call for a commercial egg substitute. If you don’t have any on hand or wish to cook with fresh eggs instead, 1 fresh egg = 1/4 cup of egg substitute.

Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese

The Ingredients.

  • 1/2 pound uncooked macaroni or hearty pasta
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mustard

The Directions.

  1. Spray crock well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whip egg and milk together. Stir in spices.
  2. Add cheese and noodles, and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the crock pot. It will be very liquidy.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 2-5 hours, or on high for 1-3. After the first hour, stir well. Then stir every half hour or so until it is the consistency you like. Remember that it will continue to cook for a while after you turn it off, because the Crock Pot bowl holds heat really well. The cooking time will vary depending on what size crock pot you are using, and how quickly it heats and cooks.

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